Art Life

Home, Garden and Happiness; Living the Artist Life

I have a great life. It literally includes home, garden and happiness, oh, and being an artist!

Seriously, I get to live the life of an artist, everyday. When someone asks what I do, I almost feel guilty saying, I paint, illustrate, you know, design things, make stuff. However, that is my truth. I create something almost everyday and if I’m not creating it I’m thinking about how to create it.

So where do I create all these great things? Well that is what I’m sharing with you today. My artistic spot. A Clever Spark, my shop and studio of Home, Garden and Happiness.

The Shop: A Clever Spark

I have an adorable shop.

Our front flower box in summer. I love that our shop is painted blue!

Its located in a well known beach town, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.

We are a few blocks away from the beach and boardwalk in the little downtown section of Point Pleasant Beach. The town is filled with cute boutiques, restaurants, antique and vintage shops as well as a few galleries. After soaking up as much sun as possible on the beach, the afternoons are for shopping in town then enjoying dinner and a drink.

Our shop is right in the center of everything, across from the main coffee shop that has live music on week nights in the summer. We use half of the shop for a studio work space and the other half is the selling part. The entire shop has chippy painted cement walls, super high barrel ceilings, the shop side has soft worn wood floors, and stained glass panes way up above the big front windows. The studio side has cement floors leading out to the garden.

View out our front window, showing the colorful stained glass. and hanging Kokedamas. A Japanese style of hanging plants that I love to make.

Home Garden Happiness

The tag line of the shop is Home Garden Happiness. The home pretty much covers what we do, selling products for your home, useful and decorative. The garden is literally the outdoor garden part of our shop and happiness covers the light, bright and just all around good feeling you get when you enter the front door. We are happy to be in the space, and when I say “we” I mean my daughter Ivy and I. We sell things we make and create, also offer up clever finds new and old.

In the Shop

I have always loved all things paper so its no surprise we sell my hand printed and hand painted watercolor cards. Of course, being an artist, I sell my artwork, all kinds, some painted on reclaimed fencing, large and small oil paintings on canvas or board and even watercolors printed on book pages.

As I always say, my real job is as an illustrator and artist, as opposed to a shop owner. You can find my books, children’s, gift, coloring, and a gardening series, in the shop. The DIY Home Planner will be here in early March! You can read about it here with a link to pre-order!

A fun coloring book I illustrated.
One in a series of gardening books I wrote and illustrated. This one is a little book to collect the seeds from your garden to save or share.

Next to paper and paint I love fabric.  My hand screened and hand printed linens, table runners, dinner and cocktail napkins, and tea towels are always around, not to mention tons of pillows and cute lavender filled sachets.

French lavender filled sachets made with my hand printed and hand screened linen fabrics.

Ivy brings her own creativity and artist flair to the shop with her hand sculpted silver jewelry, accessories and Italian handbags. We have the best time coming up with displays, products and just all around fun. I am a very lucky mom to have such a partner in crime!

Handmade bowls with gold leaf and a couple of jewelry pieces.

The shop has become our home away from home, In our little garden out the back door, where we sell flowers and herbs, pots, garden accessories and such, we keep a couple of reclining teak chairs for the occasional sun break. If you see the “be back in 15” sign on the door and it’s sunny, well that’s what it means!! That’s the happiness I’m talking about!

The garden sign leading into the garden.

New Creative Endeavors

The newest endeavor that Ivy and I have embarked on is a monthly stationary subscription, Bay Ave Studio (named for our shop address!). With our addiction to stationary and paper products, this was an obvious direction for us. Using an antique textile collection as a jumping off point, we worked together to create calendars, planners, note paper, lists and cards. We even get creative, offering fun DIY project extras each month. Last month it was embroidering on a picture, this month is a 3-d cube to make! We set it up for the at home (or office) digital diy-ers  so that you can easily print the collection at home or if you would like, we can send you a special print packet in the post each month. You can read more about the stationary subscription here.

This was just a little insight to me as an artist and where I create. There is a lot of happiness going on here. A new idea is popping into my head everyday so stay tuned, you never know what is around the corner!

Michal